Adelaide Hills designer Linda Marek’s vibrant homewares and accessories created from upcycled vintage wallpaper play upon the threads woven through people’s oldest memories.
One of more than 100 designers marketing their products at this weekend’s Bowerbird Bazaar design market at the Adelaide Showground, Marek sells her vibrant jewellery art, plaques and greeting cards under the label Delilah Devine.
“One really nice thing is when people recognise the wallpapers, which happens fairly often, actually – surprisingly often,” she says.
“I’ve had people who see them and just really want to get them because it reminds them of their grandparents or their bedroom growing up.”
Marek says her initial inspiration came when she was making artwork for her son and his friends.
“I came across some wallpaper in my grandma’s shed and just started making bits and pieces of that and soon I was making wall art for kids.
“I still make the wall plaques with vintage [wallpaper], so that became a signature thing of Delilah Devine.”
In addition to her popular wall-mounted flying ducks, swallows and wild horses, she also makes geometric earrings and other jewellery, along with collaged greeting cards.
All of Delilah Devine’s works are hand-painted and printed in Marek’s Adelaide Hills studio, which runs on renewable energy, and there is a feeling of hand-crafted warmth about them.
Her design work is guided by principles of simplicity and sustainability.
“I just try to make the easy choices, using timber offcuts when I can for my jewellery, and I do things like collecting packaging from around local businesses, like recycled bubble-wrap and boxes. And, of course, using vintage wallpapers, that’s a recycled element.”
The colour and vibrancy of Delilah Devine’s designs is not something that was inspired by Marek’s Melbourne-based education in textile design, which focused largely on American and English designers. Instead, it was the designs she saw while travelling through Europe that offered exposure beyond her early influences.
“It was quite a different and more flamboyant style than I was used to. It helped me to form an idea of what I liked by being exposed to more variety.”
Marek says the Delilah Devine business largely started out with the twice-yearly Bowerbird Bazaar, where she secured wholesale orders the first time she participated in the market. Now, she sells to boutique shops around Australia as well as through design markets interstate.
Bowerbird Bazaar also introduced her to other Adelaide designers, a group of whom meet up regularly.
“It’s lots of fun at Bowerbird; we love it.
“There’s always great people coming through who are really enjoying it; there’s always a lot of enthusiasm from Adelaide crowds, which is really nice.”
Delilah Devine contributes 10 per cent of its profits to KIVA, an online micro-financing scheme which helps those in struggling economies through loans for things such as higher education.
The Bowerbird Bazaar Adelaide design market is at the Adelaide Showgrounds from today until Sunday (May 2- 4).
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